Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Is This Just Me?

I feel funny about this. So, naturally, I want to share it with my fellow bloggers.

In yesterday's mail I received a big card and had that hideous, sinking feeling... a wedding invitation. They are unmistakable and dreaded by those like me, who don't understand the need for an oversized, overdone party to get married. But I realise that there I am in a small minority.

Well. I realised after a moment that I needn't have worried. It pertains to a wedding, yes, but it is most definitely not an invitation.

In the big envelope, ironically addressed only to me (?), there was a white card with a filmy bit of vellum over it and a black and white photo. On the vellum, printed in black, it reads:

"From this day forward, You shall
not walk alone.
My Heart will be your shelter.
And my arms will be your home.
Big space, to the bottom...
"When children find true love, Parents
find true Joy."
It is with the greatest joy that we
announce the marriage of our children:
(Bride's full name)
To
(Groom's full name)
(date)

Well, OK. It's a little hokey, but nice. I'd hate having my name spelled out that way if I'd a nickname and an unused middle name, but it's one of those weird things people do on this sort of thing. The capitalisation, however, I wouldn't even try to explain. Maybe the author likes 17th century style print, where capitalisation did not indicate just a proper name or the start of a sentence...

Sealed up in a smaller envelope was a card and that reads:

"The happy couple resides in the city, state area
(The address)
Couple is registered at (store).com"

You don't say... My goodness. That isn't even subtle. I know that this is going to sound, well, blunt, but isn't there supposed to be a wedding and reception, a meal and alcohol? I guess I sound like a hypocrite; let me explain. I don't want to go to weddings, but when I do go I bring a gift and usually, it is money. Buying something is tough and often it is not really what people want or need. They need money - especially after the ridiculous expenditure that is a nuptial party.

However, there was no ceremony and no party and no sit-down dinner with dry chicken and great hor's... hor's... you know, those things I can't spell. No DJ and no dancing. But hey, that's okay, we can still send something!

I'm thinking that this is not the appropriate thing to do. Two months after the fact, I'm being told in a fancy way that I've forgotten something. How could I not send a gift? It wasn't even a matter of we were invited and did not go - there was no wedding like that. Or if there was, the invite went astray. (Which would be a good thing, in my case.)

We have gotten countless wedding invitations from Luis' too-large family for people I've never heard of and that Luis doesn't know. We politely decline and then forget about it. And inevitably, Luis' father will ask me if we sent something. That would be appropriate - in his eyes. To which I bluntly say, "No." and then get a speech on how I should get and send a gift to California or Florida or (yikes) Colombia. He said the same thing as we were rolling our packed bags out the door to head to Texas. Always an ideal to ask any question... while the limo is waiting to take us to the airport. Did I have something for the hosts? I looked confused and said no, I did not. Oh, well, you should bring a gift to the host.

We could get something from the duty-free shops at the airport. (How helpful - always a suggestion with that outdated advice.)

No.

I told him we were going to take them to dinner (and we did) but he said that we still need to take a gift. Give me credit - I didn't tell him to bite me.

This thing in the mail isn't worst I've seen, oddly enough. My favourite display of this was when one of Luis' coworkers got married (I've been to all of those, even people Luis didn't like. I argued that we should decline and he insisted we go. Truly staggering)... I got an invitation to a bridal shower, one of those events in life that I feel needs to be avoided at all costs, just like baby showers. I received the invite in the mail and racked my brain trying to think of who the bride-to-be was. I had no idea. None. So I called up and RSVPd no. I certainly don't want to go to anyone's bridal shower, but most especially someone I don't know.

When the wedding invitation followed a couple of weeks later, I figured it out.

Now, that is just outright, unbelievably tacky. Someone scroured the planet for invitees to this and the wedding to get more gifts and/or money. I hate that. It just seemed so obvious. A friend - a close friend - gets invited to these things, but not a distant, unknown spouse of a coworker that isn't really close in any other way to the groom, no less.

Once I got invited to three different bridal showers for the same person. That blew me away, too. It happened that I was working at the NYRF, but even so. Ouch.

To date, I have never been to a bridal shower, and I can only hope that the gods will continue to be so kind. I did go to one baby shower, for a good friend of mine, who begged me to go because I'd be the only one there not cooing and making a total ass of myself. It was quite horrifying to both of us - my poor friend. She is just like me, but there is always someone - just like in Sex & the City who will just die if you don't have one of those things.

Not me. I'll sell my soul to the devil first! Oops... too late!

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